Prescription drug abuse is becoming all too common in the US, especially among teens. Almost five percent of Texans ages 12 and older have used prescription drugs in non-medical situations, and in Houston, this number is about four percent. Antidepressants, attention deficit disorder medication and pain medication are the three most commonly abused prescription drugs.
Effects of Prescription Drug Abuse
Taking any prescription drug that’s not prescribed for you can cause serious interactions with preexisting conditions or other medications. The type of prescription drug being abused has a profound impact on the effect it has on you, but ultimately they all have the same risks of overdose and death. The Office of National Drug Control Policy defines the three major drug types as stimulants, opioids and depressants. Each class of drug performs a specific function.
Stimulant Prescription Drugs
Stimulants are considered the least commonly abused prescription drugs, with approximately one million users. The purpose of stimulants is exactly that, to stimulate neurotransmitters in the brain. Common prescription stimulants include Adderall, Ritalin and various narcolepsy drugs. These drugs are commonly abused by college students in order to have extra energy and stay awake.
Depressant Prescription Drugs
Anti-anxiety medications fall into the depressants category. Prescriptions of this nature work in an opposite manner to stimulants by slowing brain activity instead of speeding it up. Xanax and Valium are common depressants. People will often self-medicate when they feel nervous, and most likely they are doing so through prescription depressants. If people are feeling pain, however, they may turn to opioids.
Opioid Prescription Drugs
Prescription opioids are synthetic opiates that are highly addictive. Many times people begin taking them after an injury, but find themselves unwilling or unable to stop, as withdrawing from the drug means more pain. Vicodin, morphine and OxyContin are all commonly abused opioids.
Prescription Drug Addiction Treatment
No matter the form of prescription drug, treatment is necessary to make a full recovery. Due to the risks involved from taking non-prescribed medications, a structured, safe treatment environment may be right for you.
Having a medically supervised rehab detox or entry to treatment is exceptionally important in cases of prescription drug addiction. You may experience physical or mental withdrawal when you cease use, and these withdrawal periods can be difficult and potentially dangerous if you suffer on your own. Counseling and therapy are also used to determine any emotional reasons for your drug use. These therapies can be completed in nearly every form of drug treatment, but initial recovery at an inpatient facility is recommended for most addictions, especially opioid addictions.
If you have an addiction to any form of prescription drug, our toll-free helpline is here to assist you in determining your treatment needs.